ST. LOUIS • Cats and dogs left outdoors during the incoming bitter cold will be confiscated and their owners cited with animal cruelty, the city pledged on Friday.

As temperatures are expected to drop below zero, Mayor Francis Slay said the city will be sending search teams out into the public to look for people who don’t have a warm place to sleep. But he said they will also be looking for cats and dogs that have been left outdoors.

Randy Grim, of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, said his organization is mobilizing to help rescue dogs that are left in the cold. He pleaded with area residents to bring their animals indoors.

“They will die,” Grim warned, saying the temperatures will be so low that animals can’t survive.

Police Chief Sam Dotson said extra officers will be targeted to help look for animals. Their owners will be cited with cruelty to animals, he said.

Residents are asked to call 314-657-1500 if they see an animal in need.

In addition, as the cold continues, Heat-Up St. Louis is offering area low-income seniors and disabled people with help to pay their heating bills. More information can be found at

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